The Official Blog of Forecast5 Analytics

Dr. Adam Cibulka
Dr. Adam Cibulka

K-12, 5Lab, College and Career Readiness, COVID-19

Considerations for Evaluating Year-End Academic Performance

Posted on Apr 24, 2020 2:15:38 PM

Due to the national and state guidance surrounding COVID-19 social-distancing measures, most schools face the possibility of needing to extend eLearning through the end of the school year.

While each district, school, and/or grade level may have different distance learning policies and procedures, all districts will have to establish mechanisms to evaluate progress based on next grade and/or graduation protocols.

As we face the possibility of not seeing students in-person for the remainder of the school year, districts may want to consider the following questions within the area of academic progress, assessment, and intervention:

Academic Progress

  • If grades in progress were finalized today, which students are on track to graduate?

  • Which high school freshmen are on track for future success?

  • Which students are next-grade ready?

  • How many Grade 12 students will not graduate in the spring? How many will graduate? What alternative graduation plans must be put in place?

  • How many students are college, career, and/or military ready?

  • How many students participated in an activity this year? How does that compare to prior years?


  • If your state assessment is waived, how many students need to take an ACT or SAT for college applications?

  • How will your district measure how learning has continued during the COVID-19 eLearning time period?

  • Did achievement gaps increase or decrease during this eLearning time?

  • How many students currently meet the College Readiness Benchmarks on ACT or SAT, or are on grade level for assessments such as iReady, Fastbridge, NWEA MAP, etc.?

  • If your state assessment is waived due to COVID-19, how will you communicate via other assessments the number and percent of students at grade level?

  • What assessments do you use to measure student performance, and how do you communicate that performance to your school board, staff, students, and parents?


  • How can I communicate to my board the status of students in meeting district goals both pre- and post-COVID-19 quarantine?

  • What students may need summer school?

  • How many sections and/or teachers do I need for summer school? For which subjects?

  • Which students are currently failing required courses? Which courses are they failing?

  • What credit recovery programs will be set in motion for students not passing current coursework, and how will those programs be administered — computer-based, in-person small group, or some combination?

  • Who are my district's English Learners and students with an IEP or 504 who may need additional resources to support their learning?

Meeting Federal, State, and School Board Performance Reporting Mandates

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, districts must prepare to answer and communicate student performance to all of their stakeholders. Broadly, based on guidance from the federal, state, and school board levels, districts will be expected to report the following:

  1. Which students will be promoted to next grade or graduate, and how was that determination made?

  2. For those students not being promoted, which students will need continuing education in the summer months to prepare them for next grade or graduation?

  3. How did the district perform against their established goals, metrics, and school improvement plans, given that information such as state assessment results are not available this school year?

A possible solution to address these questions can be found in dashboards like those in 5Lab. Districts with next-grade level or College, Career, and/or Military Ready dashboards are currently able to view whether students are ready. Since these clients have their state or local college/career or next grade level indicator built into 5Lab, in a matter of seconds, districts have a list, number, and percent of students by school, who are ready for their next grade level and/or college/career.

Evaluate End of Year 2

Additionally, many districts are able to utilize key assessment information outside of state assessments. For example, despite the potential absence of spring scores, districts with NWEA MAP, Fastbridge, iReady, etc., can view which students are on target to meet their assessment goals and which students may need additional support on reading and math goals in the upcoming year.

Performance Insights to Inform Student Intervention

Lastly, while grades are being reported in a variety of ways during this time, districts using 5Lab can use their failing grade, grade distribution, and/or credit deficiencies dashboards to identify the students who are failing courses. 5Lab provides a consolidated, dashboard-based view of key datasets which can be accessed remotely from home offices and distributed to the appropriate team members. This information is increasingly important for enabling staff to target specific students who may need to complete certain course requirements for high school graduation or promotion to the next grade level, so that they can create action plans to support the needs of each individual student.

If you or your district would like more information on using 5Lab to support evaluations for year-end performance, please reach out to your 5Lab Advisor or schedule a personal demonstration with a member of our team.


Dr. Adam Cibulka is the Senior Manager for 5Lab with Forecast5 Analytics in Naperville. Prior to joining the Forecast5 team, Adam served in public education as a teacher, department head, assistant principal, and district level administrator. Most recently, Dr. Cibulka was the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at DuPage High School District 88, located in Addison, Illinois, where he was responsible for the assessment structures, curricular resources, development of new curriculum, management of Title grants, professional learning communities, teacher evaluation system, and staff development teams. Dr. Cibulka received a Bachelor’s Degree from Wheaton College in History/Social Science Secondary Education and a Master’s (MA) and Doctoral Degree (ED.D.) in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University.

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